Kevin Morby Gives Us a Dose of Musical Therapy with His Talkhouse Weekend Playlist

The musician doles out songs that will get you through an excruciating ordeal or make you feel like you're at a mixer on a Friday night.

Kevin Morby’s third solo album, Singing Saw, is out today (April 15) via Dead Oceans. To celebrate the release, he put together this week’s Talkhouse Weekend Playlist with tracks from Justin Townes Earle, Jonathan Richman, Sia and more. Check it out below and enjoy your weekend.
— the editors of the Talkhouse Music

Townes Van Zandt — “No Place to Fall (Live at the Old Quarter)”
I’ve always been a Townes fan, but didn’t become obsessed until getting this record a few months ago. In my honest opinion — though I do like his studio albums — I’ve never been in love with the production or instrumentation on them. To me, Townes is of the rare breed that is at their best when left to the minimum of their guitar, voice, and wit — and this record captures all of those at their best. “No Place To Fall” is my favorite song on the album and I’ve been playing it on repeat.

Smog — “Rock Bottom Riser”
My girlfriend saw Bill Callahan play a solo set recently while I was away in Europe. She recorded some video of the show and sent it to me — and she happened to capture a part of this song that I hadn’t heard before. I then looked it up and bought the album, and while the album is untouchable — one of his best — this is just one of those songs that are so good I can’t stop hitting repeat every time it ends so I never even end up being able to listen to any of the other songs.

Sia — “Chandelier”
A friend made me a playlist with this on it recently and it reminded me of how incredibly powerful this song is. I’ve been watching so many live videos of it lately — and I’m completely blown away by her ability to hit that chorus. And then, of course, there’s the video with the young girl dancing. The image of her dancing paired with Sia’s vocals is an unstoppable force — makes me weepy every time.

Gillian Welch — “Elvis Presley Blues”
Have you ever heard a song so beautiful? I don’t even really know what to say other than to just quote my favorite line in the song: “Just a country boy, used to comb his hair, put on a shirt his mother made and went on the air/and he shook it like a Chorus Girl/Yeah he shook it like a Harlem Queen.”

Nap Eyes — “Mixer”
Perfect opening track off of a great album. I’ve seen these guys live a few times in recent months and have become a big fan. Great lyrics, great feel — truly puts you in the vibe of being at a mixer on a Friday night.

The Strange Boys — “Me and You”
Old friends of mine who made three great albums before calling it quits. Love this song especially and the video is wonderful. Holding out and crossing fingers for a reunion.

Justin Townes Earle — “Harlem River Blues”
I discovered this song after recording my own album titled Harlem River. I googled “Harlem River” and the first thing that came up was Justin Townes Earles’ album Harlem River Blues, and the title song quickly became a favorite. “Lord I’m going uptown, to the Harlem River to drown”. Funny enough, my song is also about one drowning themselves in the Harlem River. Maybe someday JTE and I will become best friends.

Jonathan Richman — “When We Refuse to Suffer”
Jonathan Richman should bill me for all the therapy he’s given me for the last decade and a half.

Kendrick Lamar — “i”
Nothing gets me more pumped than this song. It’s exciting to watch Kendrick make music history before our eyes. Team Kendrick Lamar forever.

Little Wings — “Around This World”
I was on tour through Europe at the end of last year when I got devastating news that a friend had passed away back here in Los Angeles. It was excruciating to get through the rest of the trip and this album was my companion and held my hand through the whole horrible ordeal. Kyle Field is a living legend who has inspired some of the best music today. This album is gold.

(Photo credit: Dusdin Condren)